Tag Archives: Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Ep. #107: Friendly Rich

Friendly Rich is a strange but great man who originally hails from Brampton just outside of Toronto, Ontario. He is a singer, songwriter, educator, impresario, and instigator who has released 10 albums to date, including his latest, Bountiful, which is out on June 24 via the Pumpkin Pie Corporation. Friendly Rich and his band will celebrate its release with a show at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto on July 24, which follows a sojourn across Europe in June and July. Friendly Rich recently visited me at my home where we had a spirited chat about prepping for a walk down to the Guelph Farmer’s Market, the joys of Eric the Baker, how my son doesn’t want to be on the show, how my wife and I don’t like carrying our son anymore, Goldie Hawn, John Cage, and Silence Guelph, living in Oakville, petunia spotting, the impact of the provincial election on Guelph, Rich gets self-conscious meeting the general public on our interview stroll, a firetruck at a crosswalk, the Regent Park School of Music and Saturday Night Live’s Hal Willner and Kevin Drew and Daniel Lanois, the Brampton Indie Arts Festival was a visionary thing, pranking bad mayors, my son the difficult interview subject, Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo and Marc Ribot, when the BIAF got different, slaughtering lambs in Brampton garages and filling blue boxes full of red blood, why is Friendly Rich so weird, Nudetella, infiltrating the system with subversive performance art, running into Charlie Cares busking, Raynaud’s syndrome, Rich drops a fiver inside Charlie’s case, Charlie sings us “Wildwood Flower,” locking things up, running into musician/NDP candidate/Hillside Festival founder James Gordon and peppering him with the tough questions, Arthur MacInnes has a nice shirt and is an old, Fugazi road-trip buddy, Meral the Turkish food chef whom I still owe a dollar, delicious böreks, the “Sausage Samba” saga, regulation sausage in Germany, combining the worlds of Star Trek: The Next Generation and sausage auditing for a music video that has been championed by Funny or Die and Team Coco, running into visual artist Gillian Wilson who should not be a stranger, my wife needs money, Gregory Pepper is cleaning out the eavestroughs, Art on the Street, goat’s milk, Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s death train, “Penis Suitcase” and the super strange funeral ritual of the king of Zambia, my son eats peppers like they’re apples, darkness and childlike innocence, running into Matt Collins formerly of Ninja High School and currently in the band Dutch, my former linemate Bruce Lynn, still clamouring for Eric the Baker, getting Rich a Guelph apple and talking to farmers about the apple-splitting trick, making our way to Eric the Baker, Friendly Rich is prolific, purple juice interruption, Adrian Celentano, sausage rolls and blueberry tarts, my guestlist, arriving at Eric’s, Rich buys a chocolate weiner, my son tries to steal some madeleine cookies, meeting Eric the Baker, the song “Penis Suitcase,” et en fin.

Related links: friendlyrich.com vishkhanna.com


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Ep. #102: Alison Wearing

Alison Wearing is an author, musician, and theatrical actress based in Stratford Ontario whose first book was the internationally acclaimed travel memoir Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey. Her latest book is another compelling memoir called Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter – Growing Up with a Gay Dad, which she has adapted into an award-winning one-woman show. The Eden Mills Writers’ Festival and the Bookshelf present Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter – Growing Up with a Gay Dad at the Ebar on Friday May 23 and here, Alison and I discuss what it’s like living in the Shakespearean-flavoured, welcoming town of Stratford, which came first, Confessions the book or Confessions the play, how this story resonates with people whose families aren’t “normal,” how families aren’t ideal or perfect but their challenges are healthy, Canada’s coming out, the remarkable elements at Alison’s disposal to tell this story about her father and her family, the box of treasure, making it with a Roman Catholic priest, terror and joy, what her family has made of Alison’s one-woman show and book, her brothers’ low profile in the book, the devastating and arresting section about Alison’s mother in this book, how we’re often ready to write our stories before we’ve written one word, academics are unreadable, her parents’ musical interest and its influence on her writing, the Liberal Party of Canada and bonding with Pierre Elliott Trudeau about China, empowering others with Confessions, we all find ourselves, selfishness and truth, my parents and my sister, Alison’s unforgiving aunt, connecting with others to accept their anger, truth and pride, how the book compares to the show, the book’s impact on one’s croissant consumption, Alison’s next book project about children and Mexico and when she’ll actually have time to finish it, the long shelf life that books have, and that was all.

Related links: alisonwearing.com vishkhanna.com


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